Thursday, January 12, 2006

ANGRY RANTING WOMAN OF COLOR


That is from one of my favorite crunk blogs. And it describes how I feel today.

OK, I've got issues. I know it. But you spend any amount of time in this business and trust me, you'll end up with issues or a drug problem. Maybe both. So, before I decided to leave the world of the studio and cast about in the darkness as an indie writer/producer, I knew what I was giving up and what I was (hopefully) gaining. Maybe the biggest thing I left behind was sitting through meetings begging for non-White writers, directors, actors, and crew. I'm a fighter. If I believe in something I will (and have) gone down in FLAMES. I know if I were to back off and sweet talk "you catch more flies with honey" and all that crap. There is still a LOT of prejudice and misinformation and, in general, ignorance to deal with on a daily basis. What's a sista to do?

I'm not saying that there aren't wonderful people in Hollywood whose life experience has either not included race-coding everyone they meet, or has led them to a life of inclusion. I'm not saying that at all. In fact, most of my friends are people who have a clue.

There are, however, a number of people who don't have a clue, don't want a clue, and/or aren't even aware clues are necessary. Those are the fools who boil my blood every gotdang day. It helps if you have a strong support system, or just stay out of mainstream Hollywood altogether and just do you. I want to make big movies, though, so that doesn't really work for me.

When I feel like this I try to stay away from everyone. I return a minimum of phone calls, dig into my reading, focus on telling the stories that I want to tell, that I think will help or change or illuminate things. Because that's why I'm here. Not to go to parties, and hang out and know celebrities, I'm here because there's nothing more exciting than to see something you fought for -- two characters from different cultures bridging the gap, a man and a woman resolving their conflicts -- put up on a big screen, diffuse through the culture and create a hunger for difference and understanding in the lives of people everywhere. It's a lofty, silly goal. I know. I remember when I was in college a girl a few years ahead of me was graduating. She was from an extremely wealthy family and I asked her what she planned to do after school. Her reply? Move to Italy to learn how to make glass beads. I was floored. Glass beads? Black people have real concerns, WTF? How was this heifa gonna throw away her parents' money and go make some dang glass beads. Not for a living. Clearly.

Those glass beads have stayed with me. They inspire me to dream, a little, but mostly they get me through those inane, ignorant meetings. There are plenty of people in Hollywood who came from nothing and need to make it. There are also a lot of rich kids who are here making glass beads. Learning to tell the difference, Ah, there's the thing.

1 comment:

writebrother said...

"She was from an extremely wealthy family and I asked her what she planned to do after school. Her reply? Move to Italy to learn how to make glass beads."

I went to USC and I remember during senior year one of my friends was complaining that her parents wouldn't let her trade in her '97 Benz for a '99. At least the glass beads chick was on some artistic shit.